General Liability Practice | Experience
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Practices

Catastrophic Loss

  • Rice v. Speedway et al. v. Robinette Demolition et al.

    Jordan Tank and Josh Yonke negotiated a nominal settlement for their client that resolved a spoliation of evidence claim made in a suit which arose out of a series of 10 explosions that occurred in Westmont in November 2017. A Speedway gas station leaked 10,000 gallons of gasoline into the surrounding sewer system, which ultimately led to the explosions occurring in and around nearby residential buildings and along the sewer lines. Lipe Lyons’ client was hired to shore up an apartment building that was damaged when one of the explosions occurred in its basement. Speedway alleged the shoring work destroyed evidence and Lipe Lyons countered that the work actually preserved evidence by stabilizing the damaged building. The settlement was made directly with the plaintiff who filed suit against Speedway. The court approved the settlement, terminating Speedway’s spoliation claim and any other claims that could have been brought against the firm’s client.

  • Alvares v. 11th Street Plaza, LLC, et al.
    August 8, 2019

    Jordan Tank and Krista Krepp obtained summary judgment for a property owner in a premises liability lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who claimed she incurred nearly $250,000 in special damages after tripping over uneven asphalt in a parking lot that was being repaved. The trial court agreed that the owner did not know about the allegedly dangerous condition or have control over the contractors performing the repaving work. The trial court made the summary judgment order final and appealable, and the plaintiff chose not to seek appellate review within 30 days, ending the litigation for the owner.

  • Dillow v. Tri-Cities Dialysis

    Obtained summary judgment for the defendant medical provider in a premises liability action brought by a patient who allegedly tripped over a mat and fell, sustaining injuries that required orthopaedic surgery.

  • Handler v. Powell Tree Care, Inc. 

    The plaintiff was a mother who claimed injuries to herself and her young child, and developmental injuries to her unborn baby, after she fell. The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her claim after the defendant moved for summary judgment.

  • Budget Truck Rental, LLC v. Latoya et al.

    Prosecuted a hard fraud lawsuit against individuals involved in organized crime ring who filed fraudulent personal injury and property damage claims which arose out of orchestrated “crash for cash” motor vehicle accidents. Worked with the Chicago Police Department and the FBI to investigate the members of the crime ring and show the connections between the illegal and the legal aspects of the conspiracy to defraud insurers. Once subpoenas for depositions were issued to the leaders of the conspiracy, the personal injury lawsuits were voluntarily dismissed.

  • Alejandre v Gallant Construction

    Jordan Tank defended a general contractor that was overseeing a road construction project against a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who was rendered a paraplegic when his personal vehicle allegedly struck an unbarricaded cut-out in the roadway and drove into a light pole. At the time of the accident, Plaintiff and two of his friends were driving from a house party to a party store. The driver of the vehicle was impaired by intoxication well beyond the legal limit. After a week of trial, the parties settled for a fraction of Plaintiff's initial settlement demand. 

  • In re Walters Bus accident

    Defended a repair shop against numerous consolidated lawsuits that arose out of a motor coach rollover accident in Arkansas that killed or seriously injured the bus’s driver and 28 passengers. The bus veered off of the highway while traveling between 60 and 70 miles per hour, fishtailed, and then rolled over one and a half times. The bus's roof ripped off and multiple passengers were ejected. The driver and 14 passengers died in the accident, and the other 14 remaining passengers were seriously injured. Several years before the accident, the bus had been stored in a warehouse that caught fire. The plaintiffs alleged the bus' structural integrity was weakened in the fire, and the repair shop failed to remedy the issue. Additionally, the plaintiffs alleged that the repair shop welded steel panels to the top of the bus that made it top-heavy and more prone to roll over. The repair shop argued that it repaired the bus in accordance with the instructions it was given by the insurance company that funded the repairs, and that the panels welded to the top of the bus did not weigh enough to raise its center of gravity. Before trial, the repair shop settled for a small fraction of the total amount paid by the other 12 defendants 

  • Sabo v. Keshet

    Defended a not-for-profit daycare against lawsuit filed by the parents of a teenage girl with mental and physical disabilities and a history of seizures and strokes who fell from a chair and struck a portion of her head without a skull on the ground, which allegedly resulted in her death six years later after her awareness and responsiveness slowly declined to a vegetative state.

  • Doherty v. AMEC et al.

    Plaintiff, a carpenter, was setting 4,800 pound concrete retention walls when one of the walls collapsed onto him, crushing his cervical and lumbar spine, both hips, a rib, a lung, and causing other injuries. Jeff Lipe and Jordan Tank represented RM Chin, a construction management firm that provided resident engineers to observe the work of Doherty’s employer and make sure the work complied with the plans and specifications. During discovery Lipe Lyons attorneys took the lead on depositions to show that the employer was solely responsible for Doherty’s safety. Even though Plaintiffs’ attorneys targeted RM Chin with their own questions, when fact discovery was over Plaintiffs settled directly with Doherty’s employer and voluntarily dismissed their claims against RM Chin.

  • Cortes v. Olde Salem Homeowners Ass'n, 2012 IL App (1st) 111461-U

    The First District affirmed the trial court’s order granting the defendant summary judgment on the plaintiff’s negligence claim. The plaintiff slipped and fell on snow and ice, and the trial court and First District found no question of fact that the claim was barred by the Snow and Ice Removal Act.

  • Estate of McKenna, et al. v. AlliedBarton, et al.

    Trial support and appellate counsel for consolidated wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits arising out of December 2006 hostage situation in Chicago's Ogilvie Transportation Center. During the confrontation, three hostages and the hostage taker were killed, and a fourth hostage was shot and injured. The shooter was a middle-aged truck driver who believed he came up with the idea for a portable toilet that truckers could use while on the road. After a patent attorney told him the idea had aleady been patented, the shooter came to believe the patent attorney stole the idea and profited off it. He went to Ogilvie, where the attorney's office was located, took a security guard hostage, forced his way into the attorney's law firm, and shot the attorney and several co-workers. After several days of trial, Lipe Lyons' client, the owners and managers, settled for a confidential amount. The jury ultimatley found the building's security company was negligent, and awarded the plaintiffs over $33 million in damages.

  • American National Bank v. Thompson

    158 Ill.App.3d 478, 511 N.E.2d 1206 (1st Dist. 1987). Affirmed successful defense verdict in wrongful death claim involving truck/auto collision resulting in wrongful death of mother of two-year-old child.

  • Andruscavage v. CTA

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Represented third-party defendant Prairie Material Sales and obtained dismissal of action filed by the CTA as time-barred. Dismissal was obtained despite the general inapplicability of statutes of limitation to municipal entities by utilizing an exception to the rule recognizing that the CTA was acting in a private capacity in defense of the plaintiff’s tort action rather than for the benefit of the public at large.

  • Arlington Park-Washington Park Race Track Corporation, et. Al. v. F.E. Moran Inc., Fire Protection, et al

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Racetrack fire. Represented defendant F.E. Moran, Inc., Fire Protection, a sprinkler installation contractor. This fire allegedly started in a fluorescent light fixture located in the ceiling of a portion of the racetrack/grandstand structure (originally erected in 1926) known as the Horseman's Lounge. This portion of the structure was not sprinklered. Moran had installed the sprinkler system (retro fit) in the adjacent wooden grandstand structure. It was alleged that Moran failed to place sprinklers in certain hidden, enclosed spaces throughout the grandstand. No sprinklers were installed in the Horseman's Lounge because the governing state regulations required sprinklers only in the portions of the racetrack which were open to the general public. The fire spread from the unsprinklered area to the sprinklered grandstand eventually destroying the entire structure. The plaintiffs, the owner of the facility and owners of other physical property kept in the building, claimed damages in excess of $100 million. Settled shortly before trial.

  • Doe v. Superior Ambulance

    Circuit Court of Wayne County, MI. Represented ambulance company and driver in case in which ambulance attendant raped 14-year-old female psychiatric patient during 50-minute transport. Obtained pre-trial judgment for defendants on plaintiff's theories of negligent hiring and retention of rapist, and vicarious liability for rapist's conduct. Case was tried to verdict. Jury found for driver, and verdict assessed against company was less than plaintiff's pre-trial settlement demand.

  • Benish v. Superior Ambulance

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Obtained summary judgment on behalf of paramedics and ambulance company defendants in wrongful death lawsuit brought by decedent's estate. Plaintiff claimed that decedent's death in ambulance while being transported to the hospital was due to paramedics' negligence in failing to provide appropriate treatment.

  • Boulevard Bank, et al v. Acorn Electric

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Industrial building fire. Represented defendant Acorn Electric. Owner and tenant of an industrial building sued an electrical contractor for damages exceeding $1 million alleging negligence in the course of a re-wiring project on the premises two years before the fire. The defendants' motion for summary judgment was granted and affirmed on appeal. 312 Ill.App.3d 1193, 769 N.E.2d 566 (1 Dist. 2000).

  • Bown v. Taoramina

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. The plaintiff claimed that she was sexually assaulted inside her apartment after returning home from a St. Patrick’s Day party. The plaintiff alleged that her assailant (who was never caught) was able to gain access to her apartment due to inadequate lighting, inadequate security and inadequate security devices (window bars and locks). The court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendant landlord.

  • Canfield v. Gilius

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. On behalf of defendant, successfully settled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit arising from a motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff’s six-month-old fetus died, and she claimed inability to have additional children. Plaintiff also sustained several upper and lower extremity fractures with non-union and delayed healing resulting in 14 surgical procedures and major depression, causing her to be unable to return to work and to avoid most life activities. Case settled after several days of trial.

  • ChemRep, et al. v. Dickinson Associates, et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Warehouse fire. (12 consolidated suits for property damage and business interruption and other economic losses) by 36 individual and corporate plaintiffs. Represented Dickinson Associates, the owner of a large warehouse building built in 1914. The fire started on the fourth floor of the warehouse in the engine compartment of a propane fueled forklift truck. The propane cylinder on the forklift exploded spreading fire to nearby cardboard cartons. The warehouse was fitted with a sprinkler system in 1914 as it was initially constructed to store grain. The sprinkler system had fallen into disrepair over the years and was not operating at the time of the fire. The plaintiff's, building tenants who stored personal property in the warehouse, claimed losses exceeding $14 million in suits against the building owner and several other defendants. Settled shortly before trial.

  • Choi v. L.G. Greenview, et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. The plaintiff, Sook Hi Choi, leased an apartment from the defendants in Carol Stream, Illinois. An intruder gained entry to her ground floor apartment through her bedroom window and attempted to sexually assault her. When she resisted, she was slashed repeatedly with a kitchen knife. The plaintiff filed suit against the owners of the apartment complex, as well as the management company, alleging a failure to maintain the premises and to provide adequate security. The plaintiff's demand prior to trial was $1,250,000. The case was tried from December 3, 1996 to December 19, 1996. On December 19, 1996, a mistrial was declared. The jury was deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of the defendants. The case subsequently settled for $120,000.

  • Doss v. Aldi, Inc.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill. Drafted a motion for summary judgment based solely on the testimony obtained by Ms. Kelly during the plaintiff’s deposition.  The motion for summary judgment was granted.
     

  • Renee Heiderman and Joseph Heiderman v. Mark Peppin

    Cook County, IL. Vehicular traffic/personal injury. Client: defendant Mark Peppin. Negligence was admitted. Verdict for plaintiffs, $67,912. The defendant's settlement offer of $70,000 was made three years prior to trial.

  • Jackson v. Illinois Medi-Car, Inc.

    2001 WL 1286804, aff’d 300 F.3d 760 (7th Cir. 2002). Affirmed summary judgment on behalf of medi-car company and driver against claims that defendants violated plaintiff’s constitutional rights.

  • Jewel Foods v. Trailwood Transportation, et. al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Warehouse fire. Represented Trailwood Transportation, the owner and operator of a tractor trailer rig. This fire allegedly started on or near a dock pad/seal on the loading dock of the refrigerated food warehouse. The cause of the fire was alleged to be heat from the plastic lens of a marker light affixed to the rear of the Trailwood trailer. The lights had been left "On" when the vehicle was backed up against the dock seal. The fire spread rapidly throughout the building due to the high flammability of insulation material (polystyrene foam) used in converting the warehouse for storage of refrigerated foods and a non-functioning sprinkler system (deluge valves failed to open allegedly due to poor maintenance and/or a design defect in the valves). Jewel Foods, a grocery retailer and the lessor of the warehouse, sued Trailwood as well as the manufacturers of the trailer, the marker lights, and the deluge valves seeking $30 million for property damage and lost profits/business interruption. Settled shortly before trial.

  • Johnson v. iPCS Wireless

    Circuit Court of La Salle County, IL. Settle personal injury lawsuit against iPCS, owner of a wireless telephone tower, for far less than cost of defense. Plaintiff, a crane operator, suffered disabling burns when the crane came into contact with power lines during construction of the tower.

  • Lentini v. Aldi, Inc.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill: Represented a grocery store chain in a case where plaintiff alleged she slipped and fell on water leaking from a freezer. Plaintiff perjured herself several times during the course of her deposition. Based on her testimony, a motion for sanctions was granted and a sanctions award of several thousand dollars was entered against the plaintiff. Thereafter, the plaintiff’s attorney withdrew as counsel. The plaintiff was unable to find another attorney to represent her and the case was ultimately dismissed.

  • Estate of Lichaw, et al. v. 69 West Washington Management Company LLC, et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Defended Aargus Security Systems and BGK Security Services in six wrongful death and 16 personal injury lawsuits (consolidated for discovery) arising from an office building fire that occurred on a Friday afternoon in a high-rise building in downtown Chicago. Multiple governmental investigations followed, including one by an ad hoc commission appointed by the Cook County Board that conducted public hearings. In all, 22 lawsuits were filed against the security companies, the building management company, several contractors, the City of Chicago and Cook County, Ill. More than 200 depositions were taken. Cases settled on the eve of trial.

  • Meckley v. TruGreen ChemLawn

    Duvall County, Florida. Client: TruGreen ChemLawn. Vehicular traffic, personal injury. Negligence was admitted. Plaintiff claimed past and future economic damages in excess of $500,000, present cash value. Verdict for plaintiff for $5,000. Jury found plaintiff's injuries were not permanent, thereby precluding any award for general damages under Florida law.

  • Native American Arts Matters

    Various jurisdictions. Favorably settled multimillion-dollar claims brought under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act against multiple manufacturers and distributors of arts and crafts. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants misrepresented their products as having been made by Native Americans. Cases settled for minimal or no payment.

  • Olander v. Harbor Group Management, Co., et. al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill. Represented a janitorial services company in a case where plaintiff alleged she slipped and fell inside an office building. Arbitration award was half the amount offered to the plaintiff prior to arbitration.

  • Simmons v. TruGreen Limited Partnership

    Circuit Court of Middlesex County, N.J. Obtained summary judgment decision for client TruGreen in premises liability lawsuit.

  • Sochacki v. Gurtz Electric

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Represented electrical contractor defendant in lawsuit arising from Skybridge project in Chicago. Plaintiff, a concrete carpenter, alleged serious personal injuries due to unsafe worksite conditions. Obtained reasonable settlement on eve of trial.

  • Estate of Mary Wade, Deceased, and J.W. Wade v. Kevin Coleman

    Cook County, IL. Vehicular traffic case. Client: defendant Kevin Coleman. Wrongful death of single mother of three children and personal injury to adverse driver J. W. Wade. Result: J.W. Wade - verdict for defendant; Estate of Mary Wade, Deceased - Verdict for plaintiff, $178,493.

  • Ali Yacoub v. Chicago Park District

    248 Ill.App.3d 958, 618 N.E.2d 685 (1st Dist. 1993). Affirmed grant of defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds of open and obvious danger and landlord non-liability for tenant-created defects in case involving the drowning deaths of two small children.

  • Louis Wagner et al. v. International Business Machines Corporation et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Obtained voluntary dismissal on behalf of property owner in personal injury lawsuit alleging premises exposure to asbestos.

  • Estate of Phillipart v. Archer Daniels Midland

    Sangamon County, IL. Nuisance/vehicular traffic. Client: defendant Archer Daniels Midland Company. Wrongful death/personal injury of 18 year old French foreign exchange student who survived in a coma for 1-1/2 years after the accident. Verdict for plaintiff for $550,000. Reversed by Illinois Supreme Court with judgment entered for defendant without remand; First Springfield Bank & Trust v. Galmon, 188 Ill.2d 252, 720 N.E.2d 1068 (1999).

  • General Electric Welding Rod Litigation

    State courts in Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin. Obtained dismissal for client General Electric of individual and class action lawsuits throughout the United States involving product liability and conspiracy claims based on alleged defective welding products.

  • Flores, et al. v. CNA & Cushman and Wakefield of Illinois

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL.  Represent Cushman and Wakefield of Illinois in a premises liability lawsuit.  Plaintiffs sued for the death of Mrs. Flores, who was killed while walking her daughter on a street in downtown Chicago.  Case settled by CNA for $18 million.

  • Doe v. General Electric, et al., Breast Implant Litigation, Circuit Court of Cook County, Il.

    Obtained summary judgment on behalf of client General Electric in breast implant cases in federal court.

  • Robert Gonzales v. Venture Stores, Inc.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Obtained a not guilty verdict on a case where the plaintiff stumbled over defective threshold plate while entering Venture Store. Plaintiff claimed back injury with several surgeries. Plaintiff asked jury for $680,036.

  • William Felice v. Venture Stores

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Verdict in favor of plaintiff for $120,000 with a 50% reduction. Plaintiff suffered a displaced fracture of the right femoral neck when he tripped over the wheel of a shopping cart. Last pretrial demand was $120,000.

  • Brown v. Morrison Holding Company

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL.:  Achieved a settlement on behalf of a contractor who ran a café in a major Chicago area hospital.  Plaintiff brought a lawsuit after she alleged she slipped and fell on an area of water left by a man mopping in the café.  Plaintiff claimed injuries to both of her knees, both of her wrists and her back.  She underwent arthroscopic surgery on one knee and her physicians opined she would need future surgery on her knee as well as her wrists.  Plaintiff’s claim also included a ten month wage loss claim.  Plaintiff’s initial demand was $425,000.  After lengthy negotiations, the case settled for $125,000 – the amount of Plaintiff’s medical bills and wage loss claim.

  • O'Hara v. Target Corporation

    U.S.D.C., Northern District of IL:  Argued for and obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major retailer.  The plaintiff brought a lawsuit after she allegedly slipped and fell on an overly waxed floor.  The defendant argued that the plaintiff could not prove a dangerous condition existed at the time of her fall and that even if a dangerous condition existed, the defendant did not have actual or constructive notice of the condition.  Further, the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s claims were predicated purely on surmise, conjecture and guess and therefore, she could not prove the proximate cause of her injuries. 

  • Shemshedinovska v.Target Corporation 

    18th Judicial Circuit, DuPage County, IL:  Argued for and obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major retailer in state court.  This was the second summary judgment motion won on behalf of this client in a month.  In this case, plaintiff argued that she slipped and fell on an excessively waxed floor.  Plaintiff argued that both she and her husband, a post-occurrence witness, were qualified to render opinions regarding the overly waxed nature of the floor based on their twenty year history of owning their own janitorial services company.  In opposition, defendants argued that plaintiff could not prove that a dangerous condition existed at the time of her fall and that even if a dangerous condition existed, the defendants did not have actual or constructive notice of the condition.  Further, the defendants argued based on Kimbrough and its progeny, that plaintiff's claims were predicated solely on surmise, conjecture and guess.  Therefore she could not prove the proximate cause of her injuries.

  • Ketterer v. Diebold, Inc., et al.

    Circuit Court of Kane County, Illinois.  Achieved "cost of defense" settlement for defendant automated teller manufacturer whose employee was involved in a motor vehicle accident.  Plaintiff alleged that the employee caused the accident due to being distracted on his telephone.  Plaintiff demanded upwards of $3,000,000 from the defendants for damages including over $400,000 in medical care.

  • Johnson v. Taylor, et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.  Achieved voluntary dismissal of a claim against a Chicago landlord whose tenant alleged that she sustained injuries caused by a building defect, on the same day that the tenant was ordered to be evicted by the court.  Landlord filed a counter-suit for thousands of dollars in vandalism that the tenant allegedly caused before eventually vacating the property.

  • Plaintiff v. Live Entertainment Venue

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.  We represented a live entertainment venue in a lawsuit where the plaintiff alleged to have sustained serious and disfiguring injuries to the head and face with multiple surgeries as a result of a large fight at a Chicago-area live entertainment venue.  Plaintiff alleged that the venue was negligent in providing reasonable and proper security for the patrons at the concert.  Case settled for  a confidential amount at mediation.

  • Plaintiff v. Live Entertainment Venue 

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.  We represented a live entertainment venue in a lawsuit where plaintiff alleged that she was injured when she slipped and fell in liquid that had pooled on the floor of a bathroom at a Chicago live entertainment venue.  The plaintiff had surgery resulting in the installation of hardware into her ankle.  A motion for summary judgment was filed on behalf of the live entertainment venue.  While this motion was pending, the case settled for less than plaintiff’s medical bills.

  • Plaintiff v. Live Entertainment Venue

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.  Settled a wrongful death lawsuit alleging novel theories of liability for nuisance value.  We represented a live entertainment venue in a lawsuit where plaintiff alleged that the venue and its employees negligently caused fatal injuries to a teenage patron as she was leaving a concert that she had attended at the venue.  The plaintiff alleged that the venue, and its security personnel, had a duty to send the decedent in a safe direction as she was leaving the concert venue. 
     

  • Valle v. Gurnee Mills, LLC, et al.

    Lake County, Illinois.  Achieved a settlement on behalf of a property owner, property management company and janitorial services company for a large retail establishment in Lake County, Illinois.  Plaintiff brought suit after she alleged she slipped and fell in water spilled onto the floor by an employee of the janitorial services company.  Plaintiff suffered an injury to her knee, requiring surgery.   Plaintiff also made a wage loss claim.  The total amount of plaintiff’s medical bills and wage loss claim was $58,415.  Plaintiff’s pre-suit demand was $325,000.  The case settled for $30,000.